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Close Up March 18


FILM INTERVIEW Kate Winslet The Oscar winner on Woody Allen, Justin Timberlake and advice from her daughter. Kate Winslet adds to a long and illustrious CV this month in the Woody Allen film Wonder Wheel. She plays a former film actress in the 1950’s struggling with life after fame, working as a waitress in Colney Island who has her sights set on a good looking young lifeguard (Justin Timberlake). For many, working with veteran film maker is a dream come true, and Winslet is no exception. “Working with Woody, I mean how long have you got?” she says at a Q&A for the film. “It’s both terrifying and completely exhilarating. From the moment I read the script I felt that way, terrified and exhilarated.” Of course, it wasn’t certain that the Titanic star would play the role, given that she herself didn’t think she could play it. “Actually when I did first read it, I remember feeling terribly disappointed, because I thought there’s just no way that I’m ever going to get to play this part, and someone else was going to have to do it because it was just too difficult” she says. “It was just a terrible shame that there was going to be this terrible moment where I was going to have to watch this other actress play Ginny.” Luckily, she got some tough love when approaching her family about the role. “I looked my husband in the eye and said ‘It’s absolutely brilliant, but I just can’t do it’” she recalls. “Then, my daughter walked past and said ‘for f***s sake, get over yourself!’” Many great actresses, from Diane Keaton to Cate Blanchett to Scarlett Johansson, have starred in lead roles for Allen, and Winslet certainly felt the weight of history. “I felt proud to join a long list of extraordinary actresses who have played leading roles for him, and that sense of responsibility was quite present in me too” she says. “I just had the feeling of ‘I just can’t F*** this up!’” From the moment I read the script I felt that way, terrified and exhilarated. While she enjoyed a good deal of respect from her director, the same can’t be said for her co-stars. As well as mistaking actor Jim Belushi for his dead brother John, the 82-year-old New Yorker didn’t seem to be familiar with global superstar cast member Justin Timberlake. “I actually don’t think he knew who he was at all!” she laughs. Wonder Wheel is released 9th March. 74

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